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Joined: 07 Jul 2009
Posts: 19

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 8:40 pm    Post subject: Creepy Cave Storygaming  

Welcome to Creepy Cave!

The City of IF is a site dedicated to online storygaming, where players and authors together create and play storygames. Storygames are unlike traditional stories because they can go in any direction chosen by the players; they're also unlike traditional online roleplaying games because each story has an author who creates a coherent story arc out of the choices that the players make. They're a unique blend of story and game.

If you'd like to know more, you can read the history and vision of the site in the City of IF story.

Table of contents :

How to play?
How to write?
How do I get my own forum?
The Council : Here to help you!

If you have any questions not answered below, feel free to ask them in here, and we'll do our best to answer. :)

How do I play?

You play in the storygames by posting suggestions in each storygames forum, or by voting on one of the choices that the storygame author creates. It works in four steps:

Author creates chapter — The storygame author writes a chapter that describes the events happening to a particular character. The chapter ends at a "decision point," where the character has a chance to take some significant action.

You post — You and the other players take the viewpoint of that character (the same character for everyone) and post your suggestions for what the character should do in reply to the chapter. For example, if the episode describes the character finding some strange inscription in a lost temple, you might be invited to say what you do about the inscription. You would post your idea for a possible action (e.g. trace the inscription with your fingernail, show it to the village wisewoman, etc.) in the forum for everyone to read.

Author creates options — The author distills the responses into two to five possible actions and posts them as a poll.

You vote — You vote for one of the actions. You don't have to vote for an action you posted in favor of (nor even for one you suggested). The action that wins the vote becomes the basis for a new chapter written by the author, and the cycle begins again.
Each cycle typically takes a few weeks; however, since there are so many storygames, there are always new chapters coming out and new polls to vote on.
Here are some things to keep in mind about playing:
Before you post, read everything that others have posted, so that you can put your response in context. If you agree with or disagree with someone else's post, say so. This will help the storygame author decide what options get voted on.

Your ideas and the reasoning behind them must be in character. Don't suggest any actions that would require extra-character knowledge (e.g. don't ask the monster if he came here on a spaceship unless the character knows what a spaceship is), and don't suggest storylines or courses of action that are outside your character's control (e.g. don't say "let's have the monster be friendly". Keep in mind the character's personality and background when you suggest actions.

There are no right or wrong suggestions. It doesn't matter whether your suggestion is popular or gets voted on or chosen; all that matters is that you contribute what you think is a realistic way for the character to react. And please keep people's feelings in mind when giving feedback on a post; every post is an important contribution whether you agree with it or not, and any feedback should be respectful and considerate.

How do I write a Storygame?

Before you start your own SGame, it is best to play some others, to understand how they work. You will find these categorised by genre: check out our Fantasy section, Science Fiction, and Modern or General Fiction and Experimental sections.

When you are ready to start your own, here are some guidelines:

Start a new topic, with the title of your Storygame, and the Chapter number, as the subject.
Your chapter should be approximately 1000 - 2000 words and must end in a decision point to encourage readers to play.

Allow a few days for players to read and suggest the next course of action.

When you have enough suggestions for a poll, go to the first post in your thread, click on the edit button and add a poll. Allow between a few days and a week for votes.

Once the voting is complete, prepare your second chapter based on the outcome of the poll. Add your second chapter by using the Reply button on your story thread. This keeps the chapters of your story together in one thread, allowing players to follow the game more easily. You may want to edit the title of your thread to indicate which chapter is currently playing.

For subsequent polls in the New Storygames forum, you will need to delete the old poll and add a new one.

If you're not familiar with using message boards like this one, the Forum FAQ will help. Or of course, just ask!

For more information on how to write a storygame, check out the Storygaming Tips, and more advanced discussions on the techniques in our Technical Institute forum.

Note: If your story is not a Storygame, then you can start it in the Linear district straight away.

How do I get my own Storygame Forum?

Storygames that pass a minimum standard of quality will gain 'Stickied' status within their current Forum, causing them to always show near the top of the list.

The Minimum Standards are:

Chapters submitted on a regular basis (typically 1 a month)
Chapter length of approximately 1000 to 2000 words
High standard of spelling, grammar and punctuation
Spaces between paragraphs
A decision point at the end of the chapter
Subsequent chapters written based on the outcome of each poll.

Any story with Stickied status will be elligible for a periodical contest for their own Spotlight forum. This includes your own personal forum and a chance for your Storygame to represent the City of IF on the front page.

Any story without a chapter within the last 3 months will lose their Stickied status and will not be able to enter the Spotlight competition.

If you feel your story meets the above criteria, and should be stickied, feel free to contact a moderator to look into your request.

Any questions, please ask. :)
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